Explaining The Apprenticeship Levels

By Dayna Spear, February 21, 2018

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.

Todays blog post, I’m hoping, will help to clear up any confusion surrounding apprenticeship levels. What actually are they, how do they work? Who knows. Well, I mean, I know…

Let’s get straight into it and make this seemingly confusing topic as short and sweet as possible.

There’s 4 main levels of apprenticeships, and they are:

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If you want to know more about Level 6 and 7 Degree Apprenticeships, it's a topic which we summarised nicely in a blog post you can read here.

What do these levels actually mean, though? Let me explain...

In all levels, you will work and also study a relevant qualification. Whether you’re doing Journalism, Construction, Engineering or Hairdressing, you’ll be earning and learning at the same time - the level is essentially representative of the qualification you'll get.

Level 2 Apprenticeships

These are roughly equivalent to 5 GCSEs - to get one, you need to be 16+ and sufficiently show you have the ability to complete the programme.

Level 3 Apprenticeships

These are roughly equivalent to 2 A-Levels. When applying, some industries require you to have 3+ GCSE's, whereas others won't.

Level 4 & 5 Apprenticeships

They are the equivalent to a Higher Education Diploma, and will usually request you have 5 GCSE's and some other higher qualifications to show (such as A-Levels, BTEC's etc.) The same generally goes for Level 5 Apprenticeships, which are the equivalent to a foundation degree.

Level 6 & 7 Apprenticeships

These are slightly higher, and are what we call ‘Degree Apprenticeships’, as explained above. Some employers have specific entry requirements, such as a grade range, or qualifications in subjects related to the particular apprenticeship.

So, what are the rules? Well…

As long as you’re over the age of 16 and are not in full-time education at the time of starting the apprenticeship, you can go for it! Apprenticeships usually take between 1-3 years to finish, but Degree Apprenticeships can take up to 6 years - worth noting.

If you begin with an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship, you can then go on to progress and work your way up through the higher levels.

I hope this snappy blog post has helped you understand better the different levels of apprenticeships there are. If you're still unsure or want some advice, feel free to ask away!

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